Could this trolley self-serve checkout spell the end for checkout operators in New Zealand?

Self-serve checkouts are hardly a new phenomenon but they are often too small to fit too many items on them and taking trolleys there is often a hassle.

However, Countdown might have found a solution to the problem.

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Two Countdown stores in Auckland, St Johns and Lincoln Rd, are both rocking trolley self-serve checkouts which are wider and have a conveyor belt.

Consumers can now zip around the store with their trolley before running through the new aisle, all without needing to see a checkout operator.

But will the new checkouts spell disaster for operators and other supermarket staff?

Maybe not ... with Countdown not committing to rolling out any more of the conveyor belt-style checkouts in New Zealand.

Countdown's head of renewal and design, Nick Webster, told the Herald shoppers of different environments preferred different things from their supermarkets.

"We tend to find that in our metro and city fringe stores attract more commuters and students coming in to pick up a few items so self-service is more popular.

"In rural areas customers tend to have a preference for a particular checkout operator that they get to know, or for customers doing a large shop, they generally prefer the regular checkout."

Meanwhile, a survey from earlier this year found most Kiwis preferred the human touch over self-serve kiosks when shopping.


The Canstar Blue customer satisfaction survey of 2500 Kiwi shoppers found two-thirds (66 per cent) would prefer using a cashier service.

It also revealed that just 25 per cent of people spent under $100 each week on groceries, while 49 per cent spent between $100 and $199.

At the upper end of the scale, 1 per cent of supermarket shoppers spend more than $400 on groceries per week.